Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-chested Plover (Charadrius modestus)


French: Pluvier de d’Urville German: Rotbrust-Regenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlito chileno
Other common names: Rufous-chested Dotterel, South American Plover

Charadrius modestus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Montevideo, Uruguay


Occasionally placed in monotypic genus Zonibyx. No subspecies recognized, although birds from Falkland Is have longer wings and tarsi. Monotypic.


SC & S Chile and S Argentina and Falkland Is. Winters N to N Chile, N Argentina, Uruguay and S Brazil, occasionally farther N to Peru#R and SE Brazil#R.

Descriptive notes

19–22 cm; 71–94 g. Bright white supercilia meet on forehead; face, cheeks and throat ash-grey, breast rufous-red with broad black lower edge; belly white. Female... read more


Flight call a mellow bisyllabic “peeeu-dip”, sometimes shortened to “peeu”. Also a wheezy whistle “... read more


Breeds mainly on inland short grassland, from coast up to altitude of 2000 m on windy inland... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, molluscs and some plant material (e.g. algae). Near water, forages at water’s edge, where... read more


Eggs Oct–Nov, rarely Jan; laying in Falkland Is mid Sept to mid Jan, with peak in Oct. Solitary. Nest placed in open; in Falkland Is... read more


Migratory to resident; southernmost breeders migrate N in Mar–Apr and return Aug–Sept,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Overall population size unknown, but species generally reckoned to be not uncommon and between 33,000 and 63,000 individuals, or 11,... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Rufous-chested Plover (Charadrius modestus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 December 2019).